Cen­tre Stage

You don’t need to train like a pro­fes­sional bal­le­rina to get that svelte body. BAZAAR tests three hy­brids of barre work­outs that will have you strut­ting in grace­ful shape, fast. By Li Ying Lim and Aisha Hassan.

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - Contents -

There is some­thing so grace­ful about the com­port­ment of a bal­le­rina. It is a rig­or­ous art form, a calm façade that be­lies the ex­treme and tire­less hours put into prac­tice, and there is no dance that rings truer when it comes to the trite say­ing of “prac­tice makes per­fect”. Some of us may not pos­sess the flex­i­bil­ity to pur­sue pliés, but this is where mod­i­fied, bal­let-in­spired work­outs come in. Those glid­ing sylph statures—they can still be achieved through these mod­ern barre work­outs.


What: Cre­ated by pro­fes­sional dancer and chore­og­ra­pher An­drea Rogers, Xtend Barre has amassed a fol­low­ing that in­cludes Madonna. Fus­ing el­e­ments of dance with light­weight strength train­ing and pi­lates in a se­quence of calo­rie-burn­ing en­ergy bursts, this to­tal body work­out chal­lenges ev­ery mus­cle group. A sweat-in­duc­ing warm up leads to weighted up­per body ex­er­cises, fol­lowed by bal­let barre rou­tines to sculpt your lower body (think strong quads and toned glutes), be­fore finishing with an in­tense ab­dom­i­nal ses­sion on the floor. As the name sug­gests, it’s an ex­ten­sion of the barre— not wholly re­ly­ing on it— while still em­ploy­ing meth­ods that de­liver the lean, flex­i­ble grace of a dancer. The spe­cific moves within this se­ries vary, en­sur­ing dy­namism and new chal­lenges each time. Xtend Barre classes also of­fer multi-level mod­i­fi­ca­tions suit­able for be­gin­ners, pre­na­tal clients, or those re­cov­er­ing from in­juries, mak­ing it the ideal reg­i­men for any­one with achiev­ing a strong physique as a goal. In An­drea’s words, “if pi­lates sculpts your body, Xtend chis­els it.” Calo­ries burned: 500 to 600 calo­ries per class. Where: Ur­ban Spring is Malaysia’s premier des­ti­na­tion for Xtend Barre. Priced at RM85 per class. 57-1, Jalan Bangkung, Bangsar. Tel: 03-2095 3998. www.ur­ban-spring.com


What: Burst­ing into the main­stream with film noir hit Black Swan, former New York City Bal­let dancer Mary He­len Bow­ers is bring­ing to light the work­out that sculpted Natalie Port­man’s tragic in­génue. Bal­let barre mixes clas­sic bal­let moves with in­ten­sive stretches and ex­er­cises to give you that lean physique. “The ex­er­cises tar­get bal­let mus­cles— in­ner thighs, back of the leg, butt, deep through the core, and mus­cles all through your up­per body,” ex­plains Bow­ers. “We’re do­ing ev­ery­thing with all the mus­cles around your quadri­ceps without re­ally en­gag­ing them. That’s the defin­ing dif­fer­ence be­tween Bal­let Beau­ti­ful and a typ­i­cal barre work­out. In bal­let, you’re ton­ing mus­cles but also elon­gat­ing, which makes a tremen­dous dif­fer­ence in the way the body shapes.” Calo­ries burned: 400 to 500 calo­ries per class, with a post­work­out burn of 100 calo­ries. Where: Take a live on­line class or pick up the ex­ten­sive work­out DVDs. www,bal­let­beau­ti­ful.com


What: Cre­ated by Hol­ly­wood fit­ness ex­traor­di­naire Richard Giorla, Cardio Barre is de­signed to get your heart racing. Com­bin­ing barre moves taken from clas­si­cal bal­let and light weights, Giorla makes you move to high en­ergy mu­sic without jump­ing and kicking, giv­ing you the calo­rie burn without caus­ing any im­pact on your joints. Of­ten touted as Cal­i­for­nia’s an­swer to New York City’s grace­ful ver­sion of barre, this high­wattage work­out takes barre work, weights, and aer­o­bic dance all into ac­count. Ac­tress Dakota Fan­ning is also a faith­ful fol­lower. Calo­ries burned: 400 to 500 calo­ries per class. Where: Get your fix on-the-go with work­out DVDs, in­structed by Giorla and trainer Kelly Newkirk. All you need is a chair (if you don’t have the barre) and mat. www.car­dio­barre.com

Mary He­len Bow­ers, celebrity barre trainer, is founder of the New York-based Bal­let Beau­ti­ful

An­drea Rogers, founder of Xtend Barre

Jac­que­lyn Umof, bet­ter known on In­sta­gram as @ ac­tion­jacque­lyn, is a devo­tee of Cardio Barre

The fash­ion-friendly bal­let barre is de­sired by fash­ion editors, in­clud­ing Carine Roit­feld

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